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nix modules for darwin



Build Status

Nix modules for darwin, /etc/nixos/configuration.nix for macOS.


nix-build -A installer

or if you run into problems with that, try the older script

NOTE: the system activation scripts don’t overwrite existing etc files, so files like /etc/bashrc and /etc/zshrc won’t be updated by default. If you didn’t use the installer or skipped some of the options you’ll have to take care of this yourself. Either modify the existing file to source/import the one from /etc/static or remove it. Some examples:


The installer will configure a channel for this repository.

nix-channel --update darwin
darwin-rebuild changelog


There’s also an uninstaller if you don’t like the project and want to remove the configured files and services.

nix-build -A uninstaller

Example configuration

Check out modules/examples for some example configurations.

{ pkgs, ... }:
  # List packages installed in system profile. To search by name, run:
  # $ nix-env -qaP | grep wget
  environment.systemPackages =
    [ pkgs.vim

  # Auto upgrade nix package and the daemon service.
  services.nix-daemon.enable = true;
  nix.package = pkgs.nix;

Manual Install

sudo ln -s private/var/run /run

# Configure the channel
nix-channel --add darwin
nix-channel --update
export NIX_PATH=darwin=darwin-config=$HOME/.nixpkgs/darwin-configuration.nix:$HOME/.nix-defexpr/channels:$NIX_PATH

# Or use a local git repository
git clone ~/.nix-defexpr/darwin
export NIX_PATH=darwin=$HOME/.nix-defexpr/darwin:darwin-config=$HOME/.nixpkgs/darwin-configuration.nix:$NIX_PATH

cp ~/.nix-defexpr/darwin/modules/examples/simple.nix ~/.nixpkgs/darwin-configuration.nix

# you can also use this to rebootstrap nix-darwin in case
# darwin-rebuild is to old to activate the system.
$(nix-build '<darwin>' -A system --no-out-link)/sw/bin/darwin-rebuild build
$(nix-build '<darwin>' -A system --no-out-link)/sw/bin/darwin-rebuild switch

. /etc/static/bashrc

… or for fish:

(nix-build '<darwin>' -A system --no-out-link)/sw/bin/darwin-rebuild build
(nix-build '<darwin>' -A system --no-out-link)/sw/bin/darwin-rebuild switch

This will create and manage a system profile in /run/current-system, just like nixos.

The default NIX_PATH in nix-darwin will look for this repository in ~/.nix-defexpr/darwin and for your configuration in ~/.nixpkgs/darwin-configuration.nix. If you want to change these you can set your own with nix.nixPath = [ ];.

$ darwin-rebuild switch
building the system configuration...
these derivations will be built:
building path(s) ‘/nix/store/wlq89shja597ip7mrmjv7yzk2lwyh8n0-etc-zprofile’
building path(s) ‘/nix/store/m8kcm1pa5j570h3indp71a439wsh9lzq-etc’
building path(s) ‘/nix/store/l735ffcdvcvy60i8pqf6v00vx7lnm6mz-nixdarwin-system-16.09’
setting up /etc...
setting up launchd services...
writing defaults...
$ darwin-option services.activate-system.enable                                                                                                                                            ~/src/nix-darwin


no example

Whether to activate system at boot time.


Reference documentation of all the options is available here This can also be accessed locally using man 5 configuration.nix.

There’s also a small wiki about specific topics, like macOS upgrades.


There are basic tests that run sanity checks for some of the modules, you can run them like this:

nix-build release.nix -A tests.environment-path


Let’s make nix on darwin awesome! Don’t hesitate to contribute modules or open an issue.

To build your configuration with local changes you can run this. This flag can also be used to override darwin-config or nixpkgs, for more information on the -I flag look at the nix-build manpage.

darwin-rebuild switch -I darwin=.

Also feel free to contact me if you have questions,